Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion


  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Atria (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
R is a young man with an existential crisis--he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, noidentity, and no pulse, but he has dreams.
After experiencing a teenage boy's memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and stragely sweet relationship with the victim's human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world.
Scary, funny, and surprisingly poignant, Warm Bodies is about being alive, being dead, and the blurry line in between.


I will admit to reading this book only because of the cover, and because vamp-queen Stephanie Meyer endorsed it. She calls the protagonist the "most original romantic lead" and yeah, I guess a zombie ought to be, because no one has ever thought of making one a romantic lead, have they? Zombies get incredibly bad rap. Don't get me wrong: I'm exactly like every other girl of my age. I have a huge issue with zombies, and I mostly prefer not ever seeing or reading books where the Dead are lurching around.
But Warm Bodies surprised me on so many levels.First of all, it was funny. Funny and zombies? Not a usual combination. Second, I actually liked the zombie dude. R is fun. He likes escalators and Frank Sinatra, and he has a thing for vinyl records. CDs and i-Pods? Not so much. He's this romantic, suit-wearing, conscious-plagued zombie who's living in a derelict airport.His descriptions of life and after-life is both sad and funny at the same time, and the social life of the dead is something that hasn't been thought of by any other writers of the genre. I was actually laughing, reading how the creepy skeleton guys married him off to another member of the glorious dead after the both of them enjoyed a bit of romance going to and fro across conveyor belts or something.
In Warm Bodies, Isaac Marion has created a beautiful yet horrifying world. I guess the world is not really beautiful, it's his writing that is. There is something deeply sensitive about R and Julie, even the other main character Perry. Hopelessness, hope and a belief that love may yet mean something: that's what I find in R. Julie as the female lead is nicely fleshed out, her quirkiness and eccentricities adding to the fun of it all. Marion uses these really terrific gems of sentences occasionally, combining humour and craziness. Like this one: 
"In the sunny fields of my imagination, we are not a teenager and a walking corpse driving in a rainstorm. We are Frank (Sinatra) and Ava cruising tree-lined country lines while a scratchy vinyl orchestra swoons our soundtrack" 
This is nowhere near the best lines Marion has on offer. Some of these sentences are amazing for me as a writer. It's the kinda sentences I write down because they are a pleasure to look at. 
There's the fact that R meets Julie because he eats her boyfriend's brain (yes, this part is gross but come ON, people. Give the book a chance), and this is what brings in Perry to the story and here I was a little confused. Paranormal or science fiction? I guess maybe a mash-up of both. It doesn't matter. This book is the classic case of a writer pulling off an extraordinary story with a pen that's worthier and mightier and whatever other way a pen can be better than a sword. I loved R and Julie. You will too.
I know it's about zombies and you people may be making faces. But please. Give the book a chance. It might actually pay up.
The author has a blog at www.burningbuilding.blogspot.com.
It's fun. Although I've never commented. Weird of me, yeah.


  1. Interesting review. Zombies and romance who would've thought? Love your take on it.

    Following from Book Blogs...so nice to meet you :-)

  2. I loved, I mean LOVED Warm Bodies! I have never wanted to read a thing about zombies but decided to give this one a try and I'm so glad that I did. Isaac Marion has such a beautiful way with words :)

    Great review!

  3. I read this book and reviewed it also awhile back. Your review is beautifully written! I admitted in my review that I should not have read it since I don't enjoy zombies, but I heard such glowing reviews about the romance angle. I found Mr. Marion's writing is powerful, creative and somehow intellectual, and that is in a story dealing with zombies! I like your blog, and will be checking back often, Rae

  4. Gorgeous blog and great review! I've read books just for the covers too :)

    I'm following,


  5. I usually avoid zombies, too, but you have made this novel sound like a must-read! Thanks for the review!
    Mary, A Book A Day

  6. Yay! Thank you all...it's so nice to know that people are willing to put away the zombie-hatred...such a gorgeous book deserves all the praise it gets :)

  7. Zombies are not my favorite characters, but you make these sound likeable. I'll have to take a look. Nice review.


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